I noticed there are some related topics on the forum but my situation is somewhat unique so I'll ask again.

I completed 2 years of my Bachelor's at a Top50 Worldwide University. About 40% of the credits were in CS and Math - the rest were electives and first year requirements. I could not continue in the degree because I developed Schizophrenia in the middle (hospitalized for months + long time to recover). I am still able to work but mostly in a research capacity and not writing code / doing computations. My idea was that maybe things would be easier for me if I could get into some sort of research graduate program (in tech or finance) because my cognitive abilities are better suited for research rather than for detailing with many minute details.

Now it may not sound promising but the good news is that I have good work experience both before and after I became ill. 1.5 Years working entry level at prestigious tech & finance firms. And also 4 years as an independant inventor with 2 patent families and multiple of the patents in those granted (in major countries).

Part of my idea of going back for a graduate program is that from what I gather patents are considered highly in academia (I know some Universities have a research labs where they invent and license)

I am comfortable going somewhere not highly ranked - as long as its serious.

Do you think that its possible for me to get into a Masters (or even PhD) program with this background?

  • 1
    Research is all about dealing with minute details! Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 15:15
  • "Patents are considered ..." is a fairly weak platform to base the desire for an advanced degree on. Yeah, at some universities there is a good environment for developing IP, but not at all, and it usually isn't the goal. Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 0:13

2 Answers 2


"What do you think"

It is not easy to give a complete answer to this question. If you want to pursue a graduate degree, go for it.

The good news is that it is possible to get into PhD programs at many high-ranking universities (#50) without a bachelor's degree given that you have many years of work/research experience (with detailed documentation). It is very unlikely that you will get a scholarship.

That also implies that you can get into some good universities for a Master program without a bachelor's degree.

  • 1
    While it might be possible, I think it would be extremely difficult as well as very rare.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 14:59
  • I have updated the question
    – zunior
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 15:01

Don't underestimate how difficult this will be. I think it unusual to accept any student into a graduate program who has not completed an undergraduate degree. Possible, yes. Common or easy, no!

Hopefully you have your health condition under control as that might come up in an application process, though that isn't necessarily so. But you will need to function effectively in any graduate program.

Since you are long away from academia you will also need to convince the admissions system, either a professor or a committee, that you are a good candidate. And, in any "top" school the competition is fierce and from those whose suitability is much easier to judge. In some places (US) you will need letters of recommendation.

The other issue that might arise, since you mention patents, is that industrial research is (mostly) concerned with product focused things. But in academia the focus is on basic research, seldom related to patentable ideas, though that happens also.

You have a very steep hill to climb and you will need to make sure to gather resources to be successful. Depending on your background, an applied program of some sort might be an easier path, though not necessarily what you want.

Good luck.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .